Classic Roasted Turkey


Learning how to cook turkey and make turkey gravy is easy with this foolproof recipe. F&W's Grace Parisi suggests selecting a good antibiotic-free bird that hasn't been plumped up with a water solution. Slideshow: More Holiday Turkeys Plus: Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide 

Classic Roasted Turkey
Photo: © Frances Janisch
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins
12 plus leftovers


  • One 16-pound turkey, legs tied and giblets reserved

  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced

  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 8 thyme sprigs

  • 2 rosemary sprigs

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 cups water

  • 4 1/2 cups Turkey Stock or low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and scatter the turkey heart, gizzard and neck, the sliced celery, carrot, onion and garlic and the herb sprigs all around. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups of the water to the pan and roast the turkey for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of water to the roasting pan. Cover the turkey with foil and roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the inner thigh registers 170°.

  2. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes. Strain the pan juices into a large heatproof measuring cup, pressing on the solids. Skim the fat.

  3. Pour the pan juices into a medium saucepan. Add 4 cups of the Turkey Stock and boil until reduced to 5 cups, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the remaining 1/2 cup of stock, then whisk the mixture into the stock. Boil, whisking, until the gravy is thickened. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

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